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Cebu Pacific makes strides in sustainable aviation with milestone SAF-powered flight

Cebu Pacific

The move not only lowers the airline’s carbon footprint but also aligns with global sustainability objectives, offering key insights for travel and hospitality professionals on emerging green practices in the aviation sector.

Cebu Pacific, the Philippines‘ leading airline, has completed Flight 5J 5055 from Narita to Manila using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), marking a significant milestone in the field of sustainable aviation. This groundbreaking achievement not only paves the way for environmentally responsible air travel but also aligns with the vision of the COP28 summit, which is set to take place here in the United Arab Emirates this November.

Cebu Pacific’s SAF-powered flight, using an Airbus 321neo and a 40% blended SAF from Neste Corporation, distributed by Itochu Corporation, has reduced carbon emissions per passenger by an impressive 44 per cent. The airline is now the first Philippine carrier to utilize SAF in a commercial flight departing from Japan.

Alexander Lao, President and Chief Commercial Officer at Cebu Pacific, stated, “As we await sufficient SAF supply to meet the demand of the entire aviation industry, this inaugural Narita to Manila SAF flight represents Cebu Pacific’s ongoing efforts toward making air travel more sustainable. Other decarbonization programs that we have put in place include investing in fuel-efficient NEOs, optimization of flight plans, and adopting of fuel-efficiency best practices to minimize fuel consumption. All these are concrete sustainability initiatives that bolster our commitment and support for the aviation industry’s goal of flying net-zero by 2050.”

The collaboration between Cebu Pacific, Neste Corporation, and Itochu Corporation has not gone unnoticed. Itochu, which acts as the branded distributor of SAF in Japan, expressed its enthusiasm for the partnership. Atsushi Onishi, Senior Officer of Itochu’s Energy Division, said, “We look forward to partnering with Cebu Pacific as we strive towards sustainable aviation. Our collaboration underscores the growing demand for SAF in the Asia-Pacific region, and we are ready to meet that need.”

Passengers on this inaugural flight were not only part of history but also received commemorative tokens and engaged in in-flight activities. Narita International Airport warmly welcomed the initiative. Toshio Tashiro, Executive Officer of Narita International Airport, commented, “We are honored that Cebu Pacific has chosen Narita International Airport for this initiative. Being one of the select airlines to mount SAF flights in Japan, Cebu Pacific’s commitment to sustainability is commendable.”

During a stakeholder event in Dubai earlier this year, Cebu Pacific reiterated its 2022 Sustainability Report which reinforced CEB’s commitment to decarbonization, particularly through its fleet modernization program. The airline plans to reduce CO2 emissions per passenger by transitioning to an all-new Engine Option (NEO) fleet by 2028.

The airline has also reaffirmed its commitment to a sustainable future by pledging to use blended SAF throughout its whole commercial network by 2030.

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